PANAMA CITY - FC Dallas start their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League venture against Panamanian giants, Tauro FC, on Wednesday, February 21st. This will be FCD's third time participating in CONCACAF Champions League after appearances in the 2011-2012 and 2016- 2017 editions. The club looks to come back stronger after reaching the semifinal of the tournament last year before a loss to Mexican club, Pachuca, ended their run.
The 2018 edition of CONCACAF Champions League is seeing its first run through since the tournament's final stage was changed to a 16 team knockout format. This includes four guaranteed MLS teams and a Canadian representative with spots in the round of 16. FC Dallas qualified for this year's Champions League through the way of their 2016 MLS Supporters Shield and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win.
Tauro FC Struggles
Tauro FC, who play in the Liga Panameña de Futbol, are seven games into the season and have only managed two wins since league play started in January. They have managed to find the back of the net six times but also conceded six times so far into the short season. This bodes well for FCD who are coming out into their first competitive game of the season after a rigorous preseason. Tauro will need to step up their production if they want to challenge FC Dallas' newly constructed defense.
Matt Hedges vs. Edwin Aguilar - Tauro FC's leading scorer is Panamanian Forward, Edwin Aguilar, who has managed to score half of Tauro's goals so far this season with three. Aguilar has quite the past experience having played a bit in Ukraine and has had stints in the Colombian and Venezuelan leagues. He was the leading scorer in Venezuela with 23 goals for the 2014/2015 season. Hedges and the rest of the backline will have their hands full containing the former Panamanian National Team forward.
Maxi Urruti vs. Richard Dixon - Urruti is coming off a record season in MLS for himself after scoring 12 for FCD. He will be looking to build off last season and now is better equipped with the addition of Colombian winger, Santiago Mosquera, on the wing. Dixon, who has played for the Panamanian National Team in the past is very motivated after Panama's World Cup qualification. He will be playing harder than ever in hopes of earning a spot on the 2018 World Cup roster for Panama.
Tauro FC (4-4-2): Oscar McFarlane; Jesús Araya, Richard Dixon, Gustavo Chará, Rigoberto Niño; Jesús González, Adalberto Carrasquilla, Rolando Botello, Marcos Sanchez; José Tamburelli, Edwin Aguilar